Om or Aum is the most powerful mantra. It’s not just the sound, but the vibrations that impact the mind, body and soul, making way for a happy, blissful and calm state. Om is an ancient, sacred word from the eastern spiritual traditions of Yoga, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. Only at higher frequencies can we learn to let go of desires and be happy with nature. In today’s materialistic world, it is so easy to get caught up in stress, fear, anxiety, worry, etc. that staying blissful becomes a challenge. Om chanting benefits us by rising above these negative thoughts and feelings to recognize one's true self and stay happy.
Om is the highest positive vibration. It is a universal syllable, and it is cosmic energy. According to Vedas, and the Big Bang theory - the whole universe was created by the sound Om (aum). Chanting Om raises the vibrations of an individual, not just in body but in the overall consciousness of one's soul and mind. Chanting Om allows you to align with the whole.
How do you chant Om or Aum?
Also spelt as AUM, it is pronounced in a progression of three sounds - A - U - M. The sound A comes from the back of our throat. U comes from the palate, middle of the vocal region and M comes from the lips and is nasal and labial.
The beauty is we don’t have to do anything to make these sounds, other than vibrating our vocal chords as we open our mouth and bring it to a close again. And all other sounds we can make are contained within these three syllables. Thus, Aum is known as the primal sound, and it’s considered to be the primordial, ever-humming sound of the universe.
What the Upanishads say about Om
The Upanishads highlight many aspects of Om. In the Mandukya Upanishads, there is a verse that says the whole universe is the syllable Om. It goes like this:
Om-ity-etad-aksharam-idam sarvam, tasyopavyakhyanam bhutam bhavad bhavishyaditi sarvam-omkara eva. Yaccanyat trikalatitam tadapy omkara eva
This translates to:
All is OM: Hari Om. The whole universe is the syllable Om. Following is the exposition of Om. Everything that was, is, or will be is, in truth Om. All else which transcends time, space, and causation is also Om.
In the Chandogya Upanishads, it is said the syllable Om, called the Udgitha, should be meditated upon; for people sing the Udgitha, beginning with Om. Udgitha (Om) is the best of all essences, the supreme, deserving the highest place.
What are the benefits of Om chanting?
- Chanting Om raises the vibrations from within, allowing you to feel happier and blissful.
- It clears out negative energy, purifying the environment, including people around you.
- It provides an instant feeling of calm.
- The vibrations help balance moods and emotions.
- Purifies and improves your aura.
- It has self-healing powers which improve immunity and strength.
- It makes you calmer, happier and healthier.
- It improves concentration, memory and focus.
- It reduces blood pressure and maintains a healthy rhythmic heartbeat.
- It has a profound impact on reducing stress and anxiety. It eliminates worries from the mind.
- Improves imagination and creativity.
- You will soon begin to feel the subtle, pure and strong energy within you. Any heaviness, negativity, imbalance and confusion will begin to subside.
What research says about Om chanting
Several studies have deep-dived into the physical and mental health benefits of chanting Om. Some studies are offering insights into how the mantra benefits the mind and body. One such study, published in the International Journal of Yoga Therapy, looked at how Om chanting might be connected to the vagus nerve. This offers insight into how chanting can retune the nervous system by activating the vagus nerve and balancing the parasympathetic nervous system. During Om chanting the vibration felt in the head and ears can be linked to the vagus nerve which has auricular (ear) branches. Therefore, this study hypothesized that chanting Om might stimulate the vagus nerve, producing a similar deactivation of the limbic system.
This is an important factor as low vagal tone is associated with a weak ability to deal with stress, poor digestion, elevated heart rate, and unstable moods. Stimulating the vagus nerve is good for our whole system.
The National Journal of Physiology, Pharmacy and Pharmacology published a study that found five minutes of Om chanting resulted in “highly significant” reduction in blood pressure and pulse rate in participants with hypertension. It was concluded that chanting Om can be a supportive therapy for hypertension patients.
Regular chanting helps you stay healthy - mentally, emotionally, physiologically and psychologically. It improves your inclination towards spirituality, making you a more positive, optimistic and calm person. The practice is unlike any other meditation practice. It is transformative in a fascinating and powerful way. You can chant the mantra silently or aloud. You can also chant on your own, or with a group. In fact, when you chant with a group the vibrations produced are outstanding and unbelievable. The soothing and mesmerizing effect will immediately make you feel relaxed and calm. So join the best online yoga classes and over time, you will feel a dramatic shift in your mind-body-spirit balance and connection.